The Peli Photography Workshop2nd February 2016 // Gareth Breeze
Let’s be honest. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our loyal customers, many of whom are photographers sharing incredible stories about themselves and their trusty Peli cases on social media.
As many of you will know, photography is notoriously difficult to start a career in, with many budding photographers faced with a road block we’ve all come up against at some point, “must have experience”. So we decided to give something back to an industry that has been so supportive of the Peli products over the years. Enter Dave Kai-Piper… a seasoned professional photographer, loyal Peli customer and photography lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton.
With the help of Dave, we wanted to give the opportunity of working on a product shoot to students from the photography undergraduate course, with the hope of giving them vital experience that may one day help in them advance in their future careers. The brief was to capture the cases with a raw and textured backdrop. We wanted to keep the brief as broad and open to interpretation as possible for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to give them free reign in terms of creativity, and secondly, to provide an opportunity for them to identify the most practical and efficient way to achieve their creative objectives.
The team, led by Dave, made up of students Amber, Peethur and Bradley, came up with a shoot concept that spoke volumes about both their creativity and practicality. Instead of lugging the 20+ cases to a location shoot, they got their hands on two large poly boards, painted them a gun metal grey and held the shoot within the state of the art studios at the university. Impressed by the elegant simplicity of the idea I had to see it for myself. So with the help of Uber, a Greggs and Manchester Piccadilly Train Station, I made the well-travelled journey from Moss Side to the magical kingdom known as Wolverhampton. After spending the majority of my train journey staring at a man dressed entirely in black with the exception of his glitter trimmed spats and rhinestone dotted shirt, I arrived at the university a little dazed. Once I came to my senses I discovered the shoot was already well under way, having started at around 9:30am (about the same time I was speaking to my Uber driver about my love for sitting down).
With Bradley handling the logistics and behind the scenes shooting, Peethur on set up, Amber reviewing the shots as they come through and Dave manning the camera, the quartet was already a well-oiled machine, leaving me to indulge that all-time favourite hobby of mine. Admittedly terrified of knocking any of the expensive looking equipment over, I couldn’t help myself but divorce myself from my beloved seat every minute to look at the images flying through the wires to the laptop. The images not only lived up to the giddy expectations, they surpassed them.
As the day went on I watched all three students grow in confidence, taking control of the entire shoot in large parts. So I took it upon myself to nip down to the local Asda to buy them some well-deserved chicken, cookies and donuts, which I can confirm that we absolutely did not consume in the studio, as that is against the rules and here at Peli we let nothing come between us and our compliance with rules, no matter how delicious... Honest.
After much rule abiding feasting, I had to say my goodbyes and be on my way, hoping the people watching on the train would be as good as my first journey. Sadly, it wasn’t, but my disappointment was soon quelled when I checked my email to discover that Bradley had already sent me the behind the scenes images, and soon after that I received the entire image set. The next day I bounced into the office like a new father, showing off the pictures to anyone who walked within twenty metres of my office. And it wasn’t just me in the Marketing Department who loved them. Our Marketing Director fainted like a Victorian aristocrat. Our Graphic Designer ran into a neighbouring farm barefoot and tickled a pig. Our social media executive just sat and wept tears of joy gently in the corner. Suffice to say, should Peethur, Amber or Bradley ever need a reference in the future, they can come to us.